To be Oblivious: From Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: lacking remembrance, memory or mindful attention. 2. Lacking active conscious knowledge or awareness.
To be oblivious is to lack mindful attention to critical conditions. A proven authority warns “WATCH OUT!”….and you pay no heed.
EXAMPLE: Financial experts warn that America’s financial institutions are once again, as they did before the 2008 recession, issuing mortgages to those whose mortgage payments are above 50 per cent of the borrowers’ income. Borrowers are skating on thin ice. Financial institutions seem to be oblivious to the high risk. The Hebrew prophets repeatedly warned the ancient Israelites that they were breaking their covenant with God. They were disregarding the commandments and true worship. They scoffed; they refused counsel; they ignored warnings--oblivious to the destruction that awaited them.
For my people are foolish, They do not know me; They are stupid children, They have no understanding. -- Jeremiah 4:22
Here it comes--an accusation against modern Jewry. Modern Jews in America and Europe have little if any knowledge of God.
Leonard Fein, Jewish former professor at MIT and Brandeis University put it this way:
“We [American Jews] have neither the vocabulary nor the categories for serious conversation [on matters of faith]…Besides, we vaguely fear that our expression of interest in such conversation would be taken as evidence that we lack sophistication.” (Everest: Israel the Chosen, p. 219)
Thus, American Jews of the Reform and Conservative branches (most American Jews) lack conscious awareness in matters of faith and spiritual life.
EXAMPLE #1: Fifty per cent or more of young Jews marry outside the faith, up dramatically from previous decades. Hardly any of their children are given any religious instruction.
EXAMPLE #2: Most Jewish men used to know their way around the Hebrew prayer book. No more.
Jews in America and Europe are cutting themselves off from their past. They are objects of pity to those who have faith.
The Old Testament prophets were alarmed at the ignorance of God’s people and warned of God’s coming chastisement. They would be thrust out of the land and led into exile—Assyria or Babylon.
Yet here is where their obliviousness wins over insight: they were so blind that they didn’t see that….IT WAS THEIR COVENANT GOD, WHO WAS SENDING THEM INTO EXILE. They were oblivious to His displeasure.
Not understanding their covenant relationship with God, they failed to understand God’s actions as Lord of history. Not knowing God, they lacked knowledge of human relationships; thus, they failed to perceive who were their friends and who really cared little for them.
In today’s world, those political and social groups they thought were their friends are now harboring individuals who are anti-Semitic, while those who root for them are counted by these Jews as know-nothings.
Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow of the Shalom-Hartman Institute in Jerusalem observes that “Today Jewishness is about [listen to this] peoplehood, ritual observance, Torah study, tikkun olam, Zionism, defense against anti-Semitism--everything but God.” (Commentary Magazine, Nov. 2015, p. 35)
Jeremiah again……….. For my people are foolish, They do not know me.
And yet again……….
“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes, but do not see, Who have ears, but do not hear. Do you not fear me? Says the Lord; Do you not tremble before me?” -- Jeremiah 5:21-22